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Carolyn Cornelison will share “Courage to Care,” her story of the power of friendship and breaking addictions at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, in the Marlo Room of Lafayette’s Farinon College Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The talk is sponsored by the student organization Lafayette Education on Alcohol and Drugs (LEAD), which provides educational programs to help members of the Lafayette community make responsible decisions regarding drugs and alcohol. LEAD’s mission statement says, “Responsibility includes the freedom to make educated decisions and the ability to live with the consequences.”

Since 1992, Cornelison has been project coordinator of the Student Alcohol Awareness Program for the Florida Department of Transportation. She was director of special projects for the BACCHUS and GAMMA Peer Education Network from 1991-99, director of the Campus Alcohol Drug Information Center at Florida State University from 1988-91, and assistant director of student activities at Louisiana State University-Shreveport from 1983-87.

Cornelison has been a motivational speaker at more than 100 campuses and conferences since 1991. She has developed programs that address college and university students, sororities and fraternities, athletes, and staff and faculty who work with these groups. In addition to alcohol and other drug issues, as well as health and life philosophy issues, she has a strong interest in coalition building, peer education, leadership development, and fundraising. Cornelison started her campaign after the death of a former sorority sister due to alcohol abuse. When sharing the news, Cornelison realized that her friends in college had believed that her own reckless lifestyle might result in disaster, but never warned her.

Schools have praised Cornelison for her presentations. “A great thank you for all your hard work at the alcohol awareness conference,” said a representative of Loyola Marymount University. “We sincerely appreciate your expertise, your ideas, and your warm smile. Your presence brings needed knowledge and welcomed spirit.” According to Oswego State University, “This presentation was personal, eye-opening, honest, informative.” The National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics noted that Cornelison has a “great interactive presentation.”

Cornelison also has served with the U.S. Department of Education National Meeting Planning Committee, the Higher Education Center for Alcohol & Other Drugs, the Florida School of Addiction Studies, the Southern Association for College Student Affairs, the Taskforce for Student Athletes, and the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association.

She has a Ph.D. in physical education from Florida State University (1991), an M.S. in recreation from the University of Southern Mississippi (1983), and a B.S. in recreation from Georgia State University (1981). Additional training has included summer courses in women’s issues, violence prevention, denial and resistance, intimacy and sexuality, and pharmacology, all taken at the Florida School for Addictions Studies.

Cornelison’s honors include being named Outstanding BACCHUS Advisor (Florida State University), winning the Seminole Leadership Award (Florida State University), and being listed in Who’s Who Among American Colleges & Universities (Florida State and Georgia State universities).

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